Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Winner of The Devil's Den

Okie dokie...I plugged all entrants into list randomizer and it picked a winner.

The winner is....MELISSA!!!

I am referring to the Melissa that posted a comment to my Friday, October 24, 2008, Superstitions blog!

Melissa, e-mail me at and tell me what format you want the book in...pdf, rtf or lit!!

Happy Halloween!

More Insanity From The Mind of Gracen...

Happy Halloween! My week has been crazy preparing for my 6 year old’s birthday party tomorrow, November 1st. We’ve not carved pumpkins yet and my boys are stressing in a big way. I guess we’ll get it done immediately after they arrive home from school today. But it’s seriously hard to do anything productive when they either have football or karate every-freaking-night! I so need a vacation from my family.

So, I did it…I joined NaNoWriMo (hereinafter Nano for ease of typing). *bites nails nervously* I don’t know how I’m going to pull it off to be honest. My muse is on a strike or she’s giving me the silent treatment. Either way, it’s the same outcome. :-( I’m hoping Nano will inspire her to get chatty. *gives her a swift kick in the butt and a stern glare*

After reading Lisa Hendrix’s (Thursday’s guest blogger) eleven point suggestions for a successful Nano experience, I can tell you the deck is stacked against me. I’m going to address each of Lisa’s points. But let me say this disclaimer first, I am NOT making fun of your blog, Lisa. I enjoyed your blog and found some of your pointers very helpful. I figure your pointers are like anyone’s pointers, some will work for my family and others won’t work. We’ll have to implement the ones that work for us and add our own as we go along. Since I’m new to Nano—I’m a Nano virgin ;-)—I’ll figure out what works best with my family and implement those as the month progresses. So, without delay, my comments and thoughts:

One…feeding the family frozen food and canned food the entire month would most likely result in a unified vote to kick my ass out of the house OR an execution of some sort. Let’s face it I’ve spoiled my family with homemade meals. They get extremely cranky without them. So, I’ll have to resort to using the crock pot more than once a week. I think it’s doable though. I’m not losing hope with this one pointer. I’m tarrying on…

Two…celery? Seriously? You have got to be kidding me? I’m already gagging at the thought of eating it. First off, it’s too stringy—I actually do gag on the stuff—and it has little to no taste. If I have to eat celery to keep the brain functioning, I’m already whipped, beaten, chained and tossed into the dungeon of doom! I have a respectable hate relationship with celery. I’d have to literally choke it down to consume it. But I think I can handle fruit and raw veggies. Maybe some sunflower seeds too, those that are still in the shell because I eat less that way. Hmm…course that keeps my fingers busy too, so maybe not such a great idea after all. Okay, so I’ll scrap the sunflower seeds. I’m guessing the tub of cake icing doesn’t qualify as fruit and raw veggies. *snaps fingers* Damnation! Love the stuff.

Three, I do actually pay the bills. I wouldn’t even dream of turning them over to my husband. He’d critique every bill we have, demand an explanation for every single one of them , forgetting that he signed the papers to the home equity loan or that he was the one that purchased the new computers and all the S&K clothes. My valid defense to the S&K credit, “Do I look like a man?” Yeah, I don’t see that as a time saving technique, so, totally not going there. But, I have already scheduled payments and written checks. For the checks, all I have to do is remember to drop them in the mailbox and pull the flag up... *shakes head* I’m ashamed to admit I forget to pull the flag up so the mailman will post the mail. I’m spacey without adding Nano. I better take Lisa’s suggestion and utilize my computer calendar software.

Four…I actually died laughing over the prospect of teaching someone to do housework other than myself. I think it’d be easier to let the dust bunnies pile up and the floors go unswept than it would be to teach anyone in this house to do housework. I can’t seem to teach anyone to pick up their cups and put them in the sink before bedtime. The basics are beyond my teaching skills. Or either everyone has tuned out the tone of my voice and does not listen to me. But, the visual in my head of them pushing the vacuum cleaner or the mop around the house ranks right up there with the best wet dream ever…*sigh*

Five… Maybe I’m a weensy bit of a control freak too because the idea of anyone…and I mean any-freaking-one…doing my laundry gives me a nervous tick. I’ll have to work on this point throughout the month. I can bring my laptop with me and type while I do the laundry. I’ll make it work. I refuse to give up hope of making it work.

Six, eh, the children are a distraction, but they’re really not that difficult…most of the time anyway. I won’t forget to pick them up from school because they ride the bus, so I can safely mark that one off my list. We do have sporting events that I have to get them to, but I bring my laptop and work at most of those practices anyway. I do give my undivided attention during a game and cheer from the sidelines like any obsessively supportive parent. But when they’re home, they’d rather be outside playing than caged inside doing anything. Right now I think this one will be the easiest suggestion Lisa had yet! Well, until they’re ran inside by the dark…and it is starting to get dark earlier...and Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, so it’ll get darker even faster…and…I refuse to lose hope!!

Seven…Am I reading this right? Did Lisa actually suggest NO sex for the entire month of Nano???? *please picture my look of desperation* Forget the husband wanting monkey sex throughout the house, I’m not sure I can go an entire month without it. It’s verified…the nervous tick is back.

Eight…aw, super easy one. I got the pets covered without any problem.

Nine, the neighbors and friends may be a bit difficult. I walk with my neighbor, but provided I continue our morning walk—I’ll need the exercise anyway—she’ll probably be satisfied with that. In any event, she’s agreed to work with me. My other friends have agreed that if I don’t answer the phone, they’ll leave a message and wait for me to call back. So, hopefully all my ducks are in order with this pointer.

Ten…I’m thinking a month long trip to a hotel sounds like the ticket! In a month, my sanity would probably return full throttle and my muse would become chatty as hell. I’d probably want her to shut up for a change. The kids have probably scared her into hiding as it is. *clucks tongue* Too bad I can’t figure out how to do this in all seriousness. Financially, it's not even feasible. But, I do I need a vacation from my boys right this second and it has nothing to do with Nano.

Eleven…instead of buying blinders, I think earplugs would work better in my house. I have a way of overlooking the minor details anyway, but sometimes I can’t block out the arguing, bickering, screaming, yelling, the bouncing balls, and the video games….and pretend the list goes on and on and on and on and on because the distractions seriously never stop when the children are caged inside our four walls.

In all seriousness I am looking forward to Nano. It’s made me want to whip out the laptop and get started because I’m going to do what I love to do best, write like there is no tomorrow. In my house the “no tomorrow” is a serious concern…some days the apocalypse could break out at any given second.

A few reminders:

Leave me a comment and I’ll enter you in the drawing for my e-book, The Devil’s Den, which I’ll be giving away at the noon hour today, C.S.T., which is approximately 3 hours away!

If you celebrate—or are forced to celebrate as is my case—Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour this weekend.

Happy Halloween everyone! Stay safe! Run screaming away from the goblins! Especially the leprechauns! *shivers* They’re scary! Tiny hands! ;-)



Here is some information from Bitten By Books about their Carnival that is going on this week and ending on November 2nd! Hurry and enter for your chance to win, win, WIN!!!!

"Hey everybody!

This Haunted Blog Carnival is still running, and you have a great chance to win something from the stash of over $6000.00 in prizes! New items were JUST added. Even if you have been by, come again because there are more contributors you can add entries for. While many others have ended their contests today, we are going strong through Sunday at midnight Pacific time! TONS of books and other items are up for grabs!

Check it out here at both of the blogs! - Compaq iPAQ PC -Over $3865.00 In Prizes! International YES!

and - Over $2330.00 In Prizes! Internationals YES!

Remember the more places you post it, the more entries you get.

Be SURE to join us on the Blood Bank. Membership is free and you get an automatic entry for doing it. :)

Here's that link:

Thanks to everybody who's been stopping by, it has been an amazing week!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Please Welcome Author...Lisa Hendrix!!

More on Insanity
from paranormal historical romance author Lisa Hendrix

Hello, Vixens!

I popped in to catch up on what you've been talking about and figure out what to write about and just had to laugh at Sarah's post on preparing for NaNoWriMo (hereinafter referred to as Nano because all that switching back and forth between caps and small letters without any spaces in between drives me nuts).

See, I do my own version of Nano every time I finish a book. I tend to start slow, edit too much, then come up hard against deadline and go into a frenzy at the end. I did that with Immortal Warrior, doing 30,000 (polished) words in the final month, and I'm doing that right now, finishing the next book in the series. Every time, I swear I'm not going to do it that way again, but every time, I find myself going crazy at the end and pushing to get done. By now, I fear, I have it down to a fine art, as well as a very ingrained bad habit. So I decided to give Sarah my support from afar and offer some nitty-gritty advice on surviving a writing marathon to those who may be trying Nano for the first time. Sarah hit the intellectual prep for Nano. I'm hitting life-style prep, in 10 easy steps.

1) Food. Lay in lots of frozen and canned food, preferably of the type that goes into a microwave and comes out edible with no further attention. If you're the type who cooks and freezes, terrific--you've still got a couple of days to fill that freezer compartment. Otherwise, Costco is your best friend. Supplement with fresh fruit and salads (pre-cut/washed) to fool your body into thinking it's getting real food. It may not seem like a big deal now to spend 30 minutes or an hour each day cooking a meal and eating it, but it will be huge down the road. If you have the freezer capacity to contain an entire month's worth of frozen stuff, go for it. It's one less thing you have to deal with when you're trying to write. If you don't, plan a once/week trip and make sure you get what you need. You don't want to waste writing time on multiple trips to the store. Remember to buy coffee, Diet Coke, or whatever your preferred caffeine source is. You will be mainlining it.

2) Junk Food. Don't. It's too easy to snarf down that entire bag of Doritos when you're stressed--which you will be--or your characters aren't cooperating or you've written yourself into a corner and think you've got to edit but know you're not supposed to and...Just don't. All you'll have to show for it is a fat ass. Been there, done that, (Ten pounds on one book. Aack.) If you absolutely must have something crunchy, I recommend celery, unstuffed. Supplement with two squares of high quality chocolate each day, aka Vitamin C. I prefer Lindt 85% cacao. Gives you all the joy without all the calories.

3) Bills. If you're the one responsible for the making sure the bills are paid every month, take care of what you can now and get ahead of the rest by seting up auto-pay or pre-writing checks. Set up reminders in whatever calendar system you use (iCal for me) to nudge you on bill day, and do it on schedule so the ghosts of unpaid bills don't eat at your writing energy. Unlike some other chores, I don't recommend passing this off to another unless that other has the same, ahem, financial ethic as you. You know what I mean. You want to come out on the other side with your credit rating intact.

4) Housework. Teach people to load and run the dishwasher. For floors and furniture, either hand the Swiffer to someone else or just say no. It's only a month. Dust bunnies may be scary, but they never actually killed anyone. Or at least, none have been convicted.

5) Laundry. Get it all done now, and try not to think about it during the month. Better yet, teach everyone in your house how to do it. They need to know anyway. My kids have been doing their own laundry since they were 8 and 12, after they complained how unfair it was that they had to fold one load of towels as I was sitting there folding load after load of their clothes. It took 5 minutes to teach them. They're 13 and 17 now and I haven't done any of their clothes in all those years. For a while, they weren't as clean as I like, but they were as clean as they chose to be, and they grew out of slobhood when they discovered the opposite sex (peer pressure does have its good side). I have 4-6 fewer loads of laundry to deal with each week, and they get to feel all smug and superior about knowing how to do something their friends still have no clue about.

6) Speaking of Children. If you have them, they will need your love even if you're writing, but that doesn't mean they get to interrupt you at will. Teach them that what you're doing is important, and that important things done by people you love deserve respect. Tell them what hours you'll be writing, stick to those, and make sure they understand that you don't want to see them during writing time unless there is fire or blood. Take 5 minute breaks every hour in which you make sure they know you still love them but that you also love yourself and that's why you're doing this. It will teach them that they should love themselves, too--probably the most important thing you'll ever teach them. Set calendar reminders and alarms so you don't forget important things, like band concerts and, oh, I dunno, picking them up from school. Multiple times. (//raising hand//) Guess what--they still love me, and I've been doing this since the oldest was 1.

7) Spouse. Many of the same rules apply as for kids, except they're usually a little better at delayed gratification. Tell your spouse that if s/he will be patient during November, you will arrange for the kids to be gone at some point during December so you can have wild monkey sex in whatever room of the house s/he wants. Make sure you follow through, so that next year/next book s/he trusts that you mean it.

8) Pets. Make sure other people know how to feed them, scoop the litter box, and take them for walks. Another terrific learning opportunity for kids.

9) Neighbors. Tell them what you're doing and make sure they know what that means, e.g. you're not available for coffee, the leaves won't be raked until December 1 no matter how deep they get, and the fact that you're wearing the same clothes three days in a row does not mean you've started drinking.

10) Hotels. Consider one, especially if you have one of those kids/spouses/dogs/neighbors who cannot take no for an answer and is always "wondering if you might need a break." I've done some of my best writing in a Holiday Inn Express. You can keep weird hours, sleep when you need to instead of on someone else's schedule, and wake up and go straight to the computer without brushing your teeth so you don't lose that great idea you just had in a dream. Just make sure the hotel you pick has either good 24 hour room service, a Denny's next door, or an in-room fridge and microwave. If the latter, stock the fridge and don't leave the room except to get a little exercise. Have them take the TV out if that's a problem for you. Take your own coffee maker and coffee supplies, because what they have in the room is guaranteed to suck.

And a bonus:

11) Blinders. Buy a pair and wear them, so you don't see the dust bunnies, the wrinkled clothes, the unkempt children, the begging dog, the horny husband, or whatever other small issues might distract you. It's just a month. You can do anything for a month--including changing your life by finishing a book.

Just please take the blinders off long enough to remember to vote on Tuesday. That's not something that will wait, so you need to mark your calendar, set your email reminder, put it in your cell phone, or whatever it takes. (And since you'll be out anyway, you may as well stop buy your local bookseller on the way to the polls and grab a copy of Immortal Warrior so you have something to read in line. Books and Ballots!)


Immortal Warrior (Berkley Sensation, 978-0425224540) will be available in bookstores everywhere Nov 4--or right now, if your bookseller is like one I heard about in Michigan. Please drop by my website to read an excerpt, and while you're there, check the Contest page for my current contests (more than one, and a new one each month), including a chance to win an ARC for next June's book, Immortal Outlaw.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Prepping for insanity...

Hi everyone!

This week, I've been getting ready for an intense experience know as none other than... National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short). For those who don't know, it's a month long writing event where you aim to write 50,000 words by the end of November. It begins November 1st, and you have a daily goal of 1,667 words. This year will be my fourth year/win (I'm so humble. *winks*)

So, I'm sure you're waiting for me to get into the meat of how I'll be preparing, right? Okay.

1. First things first, I've let my family and friends know that I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month. By now they know how important it is to me, so I'll have their support throughout the month. They'll be there to cheer me on, but also, it shows them that I have set a priority on my writing.

2. I've taken care of things that could tie up my time during November, and other writing projects have been placed to the back burner while I work on this new novel. Anything that isn't urgent or pressing has been dealt with. I've gotten caught up on my favorite shows, too. That way my obsessions won't take up a lot of time! lol

3. Plotting an outline! With the amount of words needing to be written in the span of only thirty days, I always figure out what my novel is going to be about and outline it accordingly. Now, mind you, I'm not the type of person to write fifty page intensive outline, I just like to have that road map of getting from Point A to Point B. I like to explain what I do as looking on a map and seeing that I'd like to get from Orlando to Miami. I have a sense of direction, but there's a lot of options still open. It's still an adventure.

4. Cleaning my desk. Yes, I know. It should be something that I keep tidy on an average day, but with NaNo here... I'll need a place for my story notes, my character list, and plot outline. Plus, since I'm still getting settled into the new place, I put off setting up my desk, so I have a reason for once get it mostly set up. =)

5. Lastly, I'm reading How I Write by Janet Evanovich. It's really pumped me up for what's to come, and I love learning about the craft. This book is informative, and she gives examples of what she means from her Stephanie Plum novels. I haven't read the Stephanie Plum novels, and I still know what's going on in her examples because they are that good and informative. It makes me want to start reading her books. *smiles*

Anyways! That's what I'm doing this year. I hope it gave you ideas of things to make this year a winner if you're participating in NaNoWriMo! Each week in November, I'll be blogging my journey and sharing with you how things are going. Are you doing NaNo this year? What are you doing in preparation?

The official National Novel Writing Month website.

Tips for NaNo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saturday's Contest Winner

Congratulations to our winner from Saturday's contest...the winner of Melisse Aires' e-book, Fallen to Earth.

The winner is...MOLLY!!

Congratulations, Molly! We hope you enjoy your free e-book from Melisse Aires. To receive your prize, please email us at with your mailing address. Thanks for participating in our blog and congratulations again! Don't forget to check back each Saturday for a new contest!

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one (1) week from today's drawing. No exceptions are made.

The Deadly Vixens

Please Welcome Guest Author...Angelle Trieste

Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. Angelle's newest release is DEVIL FALLS, which comes out on October 28.

1. When did you know you wanted to write?

ANGELLE: When I was a second year consultant, I knew I wanted to write and make a living doing it. I was good at my job, but I didn't really enjoy the work. Most of my coworkers (and my family too, for that matter) thought I was crazy, but I knew I could write a book. I'd done it once already in high school for my senior project. The question was not writing a book, but writing something that would resonate with readers.

2. How long did it take you to become published?

ANGELLE: About four years since I quit my corporate job to focus on writing.

3. Who do you count as your literary influences?

ANGELLE: Well, "influences"...  [Laughs]  I don't know that I should be answering this question just yet.  But I can give you some authors I love to read.  Alexandre Dumas would be one. It sounds a bit odd coming from a romance writer, but I absolutely loved the action adventure mixed with history in his books. I also adore Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well.

4. How long does it usually take for you to research a book?

ANGELLE: It really depends on the kind of book I'm writing. I didn't do much research for DEVIL FALLS because I already knew quite a bit about classical music already, and St. Cecilia was loosely based on my time in the Caribbean.

5. Many authors are doing strictly e-books, do you think this is just a trend, or does it spell the end of real books?

ANGELLE: I'm not sure what you mean by the end of real books. Electronic v. print is an odd debate since what people are talking about is the format, not the actual story. If there's no story, how can you have a book, whether it be electronic or otherwise? It's a bit strange that people act as if they’re mutually exclusive choices. You don’t hear people fighting over print v. audio, you know?

6. How long does it take for you to write books?

ANGELLE: Again, this really depends on the project. DEVIL FALLS took about six months. My first single title paranormal romance took a little over a year.

7. Is there any character in your books that you can really relate to?

ANGELLE: I can relate to the heroine Victoria. She grew up in a small town where everyone was watching her (she was the town minister's daughter) and she moved to San Diego when her father passed away to try to create her own destiny.  In some ways, it wasn't until I left my old job that I found what I wanted to do with my life, so that aspect of Victoria made me feel like we're sisters on similar journeys.

8. What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?

ANGELLE: Surround yourself with like-minded people. Don't let negativity get to you. Don't let other people see your rough drafts because any criticism at that point will merely derail your effort.  Also, concentrate on the professional aspects of the job as well as the romantic, alone-behind-a-typewriter struggling artist part.  If you want to be a writing professional, then be professional in your writing.  Write for set times or page counts every day, learn about contracts, don't take rejection letters personally and so on.

9. Do you have any projects you are currently working on?

ANGELLE: Currently my agent and I are getting ready to shop a project titled THE LAST SLAYER, which was written under my other pseudonym, Nadia Lee. It’s a fast-paced and fun paranormal romance with a smart-mouthed demon huntress, a sexy-as-hell demigod who's sworn to protect her and a superbly politically incorrect incubus king with entitlement issues.

10. Getting back to DEVIL FALLS. Tell us a little about what to expect from it.

ANGELLE:  Great sex, killer breakfasts, a total hottie hero and, of course, a happily ever after.

You can read excerpts here and here.  (They're two different excerpts.)

11. When and where can we purchase DEVIL FALLS?

ANGELLE: Devil Falls will be on sale on October 28.  You can buy it from Samhain or other ebook retailers, such as Fictionwise, etc.  I have a direct link to Samhain bookstore on my website along with extras and behind-the-story materials.

And thank you so much for having me today!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My life

Good morning everyone. I just came home from work, so I'm sitting here writing this about to fall asleep. Please bear with me if it doesn't make a lot of sense. :) Things have been kind of crazy for me lately. My dad had an accident and flipped his car, totaled it, and my mom has to have surgery on Wednesday. So things have been a bit of a mess for me.

I haven't had time to think about what to talk about, so I'm unsure what today's topic will be. 

I've been busy working on edits for a couple of books I've subbed out. One of them is for my novella that the editor requested edits on, so I really have to get it done quickly. The other is for a novel that a partial has been requested. I need to go over at least the last few chapters in case they request a full. But I have a little time on it since I just sent the partial in. So that is what's been going on in my writing life. 

I think I'm improving as far as my revision goes, and the comments that the editor left for me have really helped. It is true that the more you do it, the easier it gets. I've still got a long way to go, but at least I can say that I'm improving. That's always a good thing. 

How has your writing been going? Is there something you feel you're improving on? Or something that you feel like you need to improve on? Leave a comment and let me know what you think or how you're doing. I'd love to hear it. 

Bitten By Books Carnival!!!!!!

The Bitten By Books Carnival started TODAY!!!!! If you're interested in entering for your chance to win over $3,700 worth of prizes, here's the link: The Carnival will run until November 2nd!

The link is under our Blogs and Other Websites We Enjoy as well. So, go enter today for your chance to win!!!!!!

Don't forget to check out the Weekly Contest where Melisse Aires is giving away a copy of her book, Fallen to Earth!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday's Poem

I always feel like I should apologize when I post a poem because deep down I do not feel like a poet. I like to dabble with it, create different meters, different rhyming patterns, but overall, I'm just a poet dabbler with no real talent. But I promised a post today for those of you that want to enter the contest for my e-book, The Devil's Den. I wanted something dark and depressing, since it is the month Satan's birthday. *wink* Yeah, I heard that somewhere and laughed over the demonic-ness of October 31st being Satan's birthday. Yeah, right! *rolls eyes* So dramatic sounding.

So, here are the poems I wrote for today...


In a wink
It's gone.
Takes only
a blink.

It's fast.
No cry.
No whimper.
Never last.

It's on.
Lights out.
Darkness descends.
It's gone.

Last beat.
Last gasp.
Last moan.
Reaper greets.



Death awaits when I'm near.
A ghost of the night.
A monster to dread.
A phantom to cause fear.

A creator of death
A lover of life--
Mine and Yours!
Living through your last breath.

Come, come I say to thee
I bestow my lethal
Kiss upon you as
You struggle against me.

Against my lips your artery beats.
Your life spreading through my veins,
I release you to eternal sleep,
And sigh, "Oh, so sweet."

Your salty soul
Thick upon my lips.
My youth enhanced
By the spirit I stole.

Hey, look on the bright side, they were short so you weren't tortured for long. ;-) I hope your last day of the weekend continues to be made of awesome!

Disclaimer (because we don't have a choice): Sorry the poet sucks at poetry. The Deadly Vixens are not responsible for any moans of despair or suffering. Blame the author...*looks about nervously*...WAIT...I am the author! ;-)

© Gracen Miller 2008 **NONE of the sucky poetry may be used without the express consent of Gracen Miller**

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Welcome to our weekly contest on The Deadly Vixens blog! The winner will receive Fallen To Earth by Melisse Aires!

To enter, read Melisse Aires' blog from Thursday and share your thoughts or comments either in this post or in Melisse's Thursday's post!

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 28, 2008. Be sure to check back and see if you have won.

If your name is drawn as the winner, you will need to e-mail us at with your e-mail addres to claim your prize.

*WARNING* Some books may contain explicit material and are for persons 18 years of age or older. If you are not at least 18, please do not enter the contest, as we have no way of knowing your actual age. By entering this contest, you are accepting these terms and are stating that you are at least 18 years of age or older. Thank you. *WARNING*

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one week of drawing. There are no exceptions.

Best of luck!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Awesome Friday! I have some personal information I want to share before I start my blog this week.

First, I’m participating in a Carnival at Bitten By Books Review Site. There is hundreds of dollars worth of contributions for you to win. I will personally be giving away five copies of my book, The Devil’s Den, one copy to five different winners. If you’re interested in checking out the Carnival, here’s the link: I will post this link under "Blogs and Other Websites We Enjoy" for your convenience.

As more information becomes available, I will pass it along! The Carnival looks exciting and I’m sure you won’t want to miss it! There’s tons of stuff there to win. Good luck to everyone that participates.

Secondly, if you’re interested in winning a copy of my e-book, The Devil’s Den, I am going to be giving away a copy of it on Friday, October 31st—Halloween Day! I will announce the winner Halloween day at approximately the noon hour Central Standard Time, so that the lucky winner can have it to read Halloween evening if they so desire. To participate in the contest, post a comment to either today’s blog, Sunday’s blog or to my Halloween blog that morning before the noon hour! For each comment you make, you will be entered for a chance to win it. So, if you make three comments, then you will be entered in the drawing three times, upping your chances of winning.

Thirdly, I checked the 2008 Fall Night Owl Romance Awards, I am up to 4% of the votes, which is still a long way from winning. I’m just excited that someone thought enough of my e-book, The Devil’s Den, to vote for it! Thank you to all of those that voted for me. Terry Spear has 9% of the votes—she’s tied for first place!—for her book Heart of the Wolf. Congratulations, Terry!!! If you’re interested in voting for either of us (we’re in separate award categories, so there's no conflict), here’s the link:

Lastly, I asked my sons to give me a topic for today’s blog. My oldest son could barely comprehend the request. *rolls eyes* I think hormones are getting in the way of his coherent thought process. My youngest son, who is 6, gave me a goofy story instead and I promised to post it for you all. Here it is: “A ghost ate your feet. Boo!” :-) I didn’t say it was great, but I was chuckling at the simple craziness of it. He was standing beside me giggling, with his chest puffed out in pride, as I typed it up for you guys to read.

Now, off to my Friday topic….


Are you superstitious? Growing up in the South, superstitions have plagued my life. Do you believe in superstitions? Me, I do not particularly think of myself as superstitious and typically scoff at them. I do, however, have a few that we practice in my home because my husband does believe in them. Which is truly crazy because this man does not believe in the supernatural, anything paranormal or in aliens from outer space? His faith lies with God and superstitions, that’s it, nothing else has a place for rationale in his logical thinking. His grandparents and his mother have spoonfed him superstitions all of his life.

So, here are a few superstitions that I could think of and how they got started. I found it interesting. I hope you will too.

1. We cannot wash clothes on New Year’s Day because if we do, my husband says we will wash someone out of our life. I scoffed at this one for many years, but typically we were too busy on New Year’s Day for me to actually test the theory and wash clothes. Not that I want to wash someone out of my life—well, maybe I can think of one or two, but I don’t think I get to pick the recipient. *snaps fingers* Too bad. I'm just kidding...a little. ;-) So, just my luck that the first New Year’s Day that I actually washed clothes, my husband’s grandmother died in October that year. That was in 1990. I haven’t washed again on New Year’s Day until this year, 2008. Forgetting my husband’s fanatical belief in this particular superstition, I put on a load of towels and it was in the rinse cycle by the time he realized what I was doing. He stopped the wash and muttered something about hopefully he had stopped it in time. Strangely enough, my girlfriend’s mother died on October 12th. Is there any validity to this superstition? Seriously, I don’t believe there is, but my husband is convinced. Me, I think it is just bad coincidence. A really bad, morbid coincidence. But…maybe, just maybe...I’ll refrain from washing clothes again on New Year’s Day just to be safe.

2. Spilling Salt and tossing it over your left shoulder. Salt once was very expensive and had many purposes. It was and still is used to purify. Salt has had many uses throughout history. In Greece, slaves were traded for salt. Hence, it’s where we get the saying, “He isn’t worth his salt.” Every grain of spilled salt was once believed to represent future tears in old English beliefs. If this were true, I would be in so much trouble. Spilled salt was believed to arouse enmity to the Germans. Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she disobeyed the angels by looking back at the city of Sodom as it was being destroyed. Jesus referred to his disciples as “the Salt of the Earth.” Matthew 5:13 states, “You are the salt of the earth…” Parallel verses to Matthew 5:13 are Mark 9:49-50 and Luke 14:34-35, wherein he is referring to Christians as “salt”. The famous painting by Leonardo DaVinci, The Last Supper, depicts Judas Escariot—Jesus’ betrayer that led to his crucifixion—has spilled some salt on the table, which was thought to be a portent of evil and bad luck. I could go on and on with all the salt superstitions I found and the numerous biblical references. By throwing a pinch of salt over our shoulder, it is being thrown straight into the Devil’s face who is hanging out over our left shoulder because it is the sinister side of our body. Again, this is not a superstition I adhere to. My husband…well, again, I’ve seen him toss salt over his shoulder more than once when salt has been spilled. He’s so freaky about it that he will toss salt over my shoulder for me when I spill it. I find this upsetting because he’s getting salt all over the floor or counter.

3. Weddings are wrought with superstitions, many of which I participated in because they are considered good luck and it’s become like a tradition. The bride is supposed to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. There is supposed to be a penny in the bride’s shoe as well…this was most uncomfortable. The “something old” signified that the couple’s friends would stay with them; “something new” was for the couple’s future happiness, health and success; “something borrowed” was for the Bride’s family to give her something as a symbol of their love, but it must be returned to guarantee good fortune; and “something blue” was because the color represented fidelity and constancy. The penny in one’s shoe was supposed to bring the couple prosperity in their wedded years. At the bridal shower, I remember being told that the number of bows I broke while unwrapping the gifts indicated how many children we would have. It is a very old fertility rite to throw confetti, while throwing grains and/or nuts was considered life-giving seeds, which was probably also related to fertility.

4. Breaking a mirror is supposed to cause 7 years of bad luck. This superstition can be traced back to the Romans. However, many cultures believed that a mirror had the ability to possess a portion of the viewer’s soul. So if the viewer’s reflected image was distorted in any fashion, it could mean the viewer’s soul was corrupted. Worse yet, it was believed that a broken mirror reflected that the viewer’s soul was broken, as was the viewer’s health.

5. Walking under a ladder. In medieval times it was thought that a leaning ladder resembled the gallows, so in essence one was playing out their own execution by walking underneath it. Another explanation was that when a ladder is leaning up against a wall, it makes a triangular shape which represented the Holy Trinity. So by walking through the triangular shape, one was violating and desecrating God, and therefore, the violator would fall prey to Satan.

6. Various other superstitions that I won’t go into are, the horseshoe, the four-leaf clover, the wishbone, unlucky number 13, don’t open umbrellas indoors, making a wish when one blows out birthday candles, wishing on a shooting star, saying “break a leg” as opposed to saying “good luck” to actors/actresses, rabbit’s foot, and the list goes on and on, but these were the ones I could think of. The last one I’ll mention is the one I hear from my boys, “Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back.” I just want to know why we can’t break their father’s back instead of ours? I’m tired of getting the raw end of the deal. ;-)

Do you believe in superstitions? Tell me your superstitions, the ones you practice and believe in. Tell me it's a bunch of malarky, but tell me what you think. Remember, your comments enter you for a chance to win a copy of my e-book, The Devil’s Den. If you’ve already read The Devil’s Den, I still want your comments. Just let me know that you’ve already read it.

Reminder to those that participate in the end of Daylight Savings Time, we turn our clocks back next weekend (November 2nd).

I hope everyone’s weekend is made of awesome!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Please Welcome Author...Melissa Aires!!

Hi! I’m Melisse Aires and I was invited to blog at Deadly Vixens. Thanks for the opportunity, Gracen.

I write fantasy, futuristic and paranormal romance. I’ve tried to write other romances but something always happens to my plots—people get flung into Magic Forests, or the employer at the new job is a vampire, or the traveling show in the western turns into a front for a mad steampunk scientist.

Such is the writing life. Perhaps my love for the paranormal is due to the plain ordinary life I actually lead. Or maybe it was all those fairy tales and Narnia books I read as a child. Whatever makes my mind work that way is a mystery to me.

My new release from Firedrakes Weyr, Fallen To Earth, has a heroine with a very ordinary and frustrating problem—she is overweight and has tried every diet. Kari finds a weight loss spell and does it. But the magic doesn’t turn out the way she thought it would (or there would be no story!). The spell really does work—it unleashes a famine demon who sucks away most of her body mass.

My hero in Fallen to Earth is a man of fantasy, a Guardian Angel. He looks the part, with long blond hair, six pack abs, and long white feathered wings. Rahmiel is a warrior. He is also an escapee from an Angeli ice prison, and he is not planning to go back. Kari can help him out there, if she’ll agree to a little sex magic…

I hope readers will find Fallen To Earth a small escape from everyday cares.

Purchase link:

Please join me at my website: http://melisseaires/ for an excerpt of Fallen to Earth and check out my yahoo group for publishing, contest info and a free read!
Disclaimer (because we don't have a choice): The views expressed by the guest blogger do not necessarily reflect those of The Deadly Vixens.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Winner of Elizabeth Black's e-book

We did not receive a response from our winner on Elizabeth Black’s e-book, Summer Heat: Steaming Stories For A Hot Summer Afternoon. So, I am announcing a NEW winner. The winner is...TETEWA!!

Congratulations, TETEWA!

We hope you enjoy your free e-book from Elizabeth Black. To receive your prize, please email us at with your e-mail address.

Thanks for participating in our blog and congratulations! Don't forget to check back each Saturday for a new contest!

Please note: A new winner will be chosen from the remaining entries if prize is not claimed within one (1) week from today's drawing. No exceptions are made.

The Deadly Vixen

Contest Winner Announced!

Congratulations to our winner from Saturday's contest.

The winner of Sarah Mäkelä's e-book, Melody of Love is... DEBBY!

Congratulations, Debby! We hope you enjoy your free e-book from Sarah Mäkelä. To receive your prize, please email us at with your email address. Thanks for participating in our blog! Don't forget to check back each Saturday for a new contest!

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one (1) week from today's drawing. No exceptions are made.

The Deadly Vixens

Monday, October 20, 2008

Timed writing

I'm sitting here this morning thinking about all I need to get done, but wondering when I'm actually going to get to it all. Many times, I join in a chat room where we do writing challenges for 20 minutes at a time and then at the end, we report back how much work we finished. These challenges have really helped me get a lot done. In fact, I wrote my whole novella in chat challenges. 

Timed writing can work even if you are writing by yourself. Just set the timer and see what you come up with at the end of 20 or 30 minutes. You can amaze yourself at just how much you can get done when you are focused like that. 

One of the main things to remember is that in this short time of writing, you're not supposed to edit yourself. Just write. Don't think about anything but what comes next. You can always go back and edit later. Once you turn off your inner editor, you can get a lot more written. 

Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn't, but even if you're sitting there writing junk, you never know when a pearl will show up in your writing. If you get stuck, skip that section and just write "add later" and keep going. If you need more research on something specific, then you can type in "fill in when researched" and move on. Just don't forget to go back in and fill that in once you have the information you need. This is one of the big concepts of the fast draft notion. The point is to get it all down and not lose momentum. 

Have you ever tried timed writing or fast drafting? It can be a lot of fun and you can surprise yourself at how productive you can be. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Happy writing!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekly Contest

Welcome to our weekly contest on The Deadly Vixens blog! The winner will receive a book from me, Sarah Mäkelä! The winner will receive Melody of Love.

To enter, tell us what you'd like to be for Halloween. A sexy nurse? French maid? How about a cat? =)

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 21, 2008. Be sure to check back and see if you have won. If your name is drawn as the winner, you will need to e-mail us at with your e-mail addres to claim your prize.

*WARNING* Some books may contain explicit material and are for persons 18 years of age or older. If you are not at least 18, please do not enter the contest, as we have no way of knowing your actual age. By entering this contest, you are accepting these terms and are stating that you are at least 18 years of age or older. Thank you. *WARNING*

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one week of drawing. There are no exceptions.

Best of luck!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Haunted Locations

Awesome Friday, everyone! *waves* My topic today is haunted locations. Before I get to that, I have a personal experience I wanted to share first before I delve into my topic. My best friend’s mother passed away this past Sunday. It was sudden and this time last week, she was babysitting my friend’s children. I went to my friend’s home on Tuesday to help her go through a box of documents left by her mother and grandmother. We were in search of life insurance policies. The computer, cow box was full of bills dating back to the 1930s and straight through to her grandmother’s time of death in 2004. It was fascinating to look at the rate of inflation for a vehicle from 1939 to today; $300 was the amount of the new Chevrolet Sedan her grandmother purchased. But, I veer off course. We even found her grandfather’s original social security card where his name and number were etched into a metal card. It was awesome to see the difference between then and now. And again, I veer off course.

We didn’t find the insurance policies. So, giving up, we left her home to eat lunch. When we returned, her door mat had a section torn off of it in the design of a cross on her stoop. It wasn’t there when we left as I have a tendency to watch my feet when descending stairs. It’s a habit after falling on a flight of stairs and injuring myself in my teenage years. Upon spying this cross, I immediately insisted that it was a sign from her mother, saying everything was okay. Later, we found a folder of documents titled “Bev’s stuff” located on the table near the box of stuff we had gone through. That folder was NOT present when we went through those documents in the box. We spent several hours in the same spot, only for the folder to appear after we left and returned. No one else was present but the two of us.

You can think I’m crazy, but I don’t care. To me the cross was like a calling card from Bev, saying she was taking care of her daughter, the important insurance folder had been located and placed in a visible location. It was a strange, somewhat eerie moment for us both. Even stranger still, as we left for lunch my friend asked me if I had felt a presence with us while searching through the box.

Okay, now on to my topic….

The Winchester Mystery House

This home was built by Sarah Winchester, who was the sole heir to the Winchester rifle fortune after her daughter and husband’s death. Sarah consulted a medium and was told that her family was cursed because of the people who had died as a result of the Winchester gun. Through this seance, Sarah's husband, John, told her that the only way she could break this curse was if she moved to California and began to build a home for the spirits. There was one strange catch, however. If she ever stopped building on the house, the curse would reappear and take her life.

Sarah did exactly as instructed by her husband, building an oddly designed home where doors joined to windows and the number 13 prevailed. There were staircases with 13 steps, but they would lead to the ceiling and nowhere else. The thirteenth bathroom had 13 windows, while the kitchen sink had 13 drain holes. Most of the windows had 13 panes of glass, while there were 13 cupolas in the greenhouse and the walls had 13 panes as well. Aside from her fascination with the number thirteen, doors opened onto brick walls or dropped off to the landscaping below. Needless to say, Sarah Winchester's mental stability was in question.

There is haunting evidence of pages in books turning by themselves, organs playing when no one is present, doors banging, spots of light, cold spots, voices and fog-like sightings of people.

I’ve seen a documentary on television about this house, and “oddly designed” is putting it mildly. Fascinating story. It was said she had a seance room and she would hold seances there at will. Maybe by doing so she was inviting spirits the freedom to come into this realm at will. What do you think?

The Alcatraz Hauntings

Once home to some of the worst criminals, it is also rumored to be haunted. Moreover, it is rumored that the Native Americans believe it is a portal where malevolent spirits are permitted to enter into this world. There were reports of “The Thing” that had glowing eyes, witnessed by inmates and staff. There were further reports of shrieks, banging metal doors, rancid smells, weeping and ghostly figures.

Alcatraz was sometimes called “Hellcatraz” because it was sometimes the last stop before entering Hell. Death was a common occurrence at Alcatraz, from prisoner-on-prisoner murder, to guard beatings, and failed escape attempts. The first reported death was in 1857, wherein Daniel Pewter and Jacob Unger were excavating between the guard-house and wharf and were buried beneath a landslide.

It is believed that ghosts are caused by a life cut too short, typically in some traumatic way or because of some unsolved business. Alcatraz would certainly qualify for this type of residual afterlife.

There is still an unexplained event that transpired in the wee hours of the isolation block of Alcatraz, which was known as “The Hole” or the “Strip Cells”. It was located at the bottom of the prison, Cell Block D, and the most serious offenders of Alcatraz’s rules were kept here. As a punishment, they would be stripped of their clothing, held in a cold cell with a mattress that was removed each morning and given only the basic necessities, sink, lavatory and a small light. It was reported by guards that a figure from the 1800's haunted Cell Block D. The apparition was seen repeatedly and inmates asserted that they had been assaulted by a man with glowing eyes.

One evening, a prisoner shrieked throughout the night that the man with glowing eyes was assaulting him. Finally he fell silent. When his cell door was opened the next morning, he was found dead, a grimace marring his face and handprints on his neck. It was determined that the handprints were not self-inflicted. Whether this inmate died at the hands of “The Thing” with the glowing eyes or by an irate guard no one knows. It is believed that the murdered inmate became a ghost of Alcatraz. It was reported that this man showed up in a line-up with other inmates and then immediately dissipated to the astonishment of everyone in attendance.

Cold spots, along with impulsive emotional outbursts, apparitions alleging cruelty, vibrations and innumerable other ghostly traces have been reported by numerous psychics. These areas of ghostly encounters range from the hospital, Cell Blocks C and D, the Warden’s House, the therapy room, the lighthouse and the utility rooms.

If Alcatraz is indeed haunted to this extraordinary extent, one can only imagine the horrific atrocities committed against mankind there in order to create such a ghostly vortex. Tell me what do you think?

These are only two of the haunted places I researched. There are so many out there that if you are interested in this topic, I would encourage you to research it. It’s there free for your viewing on the world wide web. Share with us your haunted research or experiences.

Wish my boys luck as they are going to a karate tournment tomorrow! Have a great weekend everyone! *waves*
P.S. If you get a chance, don't forget to check out my post entitled Nominated for Night Owl Romance's Best Erotic Paranormal Romance where Terry Spear and I were nominated for Awards!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nominated for Night Owl Romance's Best Paranormal Erotic Romance!!!

My book, the Devil's Den, has been nominated for an Award with Night Owl Romance under Best Paranormal Erotic Romance Fall 2008! Here's the link if you want to check it out:

I'm so excited! I've never been nominated for anything, so I'm practically squirming in my seat!!!

I had to share my excitement with someone and I couldn't get my husband on the phone!!! Drat that man! *glares at him* I can never get him on the phone when I need him.

*runs around dancing*

*hugs the cat*

*terrifies the cat into running away*

*hugs the dog*

*leaves her wagging her tail and whimpering for more*

*giggles like a school girl*

*hugs self*

*runs around in more circles until I collapse*

Ahem...Sorry, I lost my cool there for a moment.

Thanks for listening to me celebrate!

A recent guest author, Terry Spear's book, Heart of the Wolf, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance. Here's the link if you'd like to vote for Terry:

If you'd like to vote for both of us--or not, whatever you prefer or not prefer--it is not a problem because mine was Best Erotic Paranormal Romance, whereas Terry's is just Best Paranormal Romance with NO erotic. So, it's two different awards.

Please Welcome Katy Andrews

The Machinist: Insomnia's Love Song

Insomnia is an old friend I know too well.

He hasn’t been by to visit me much lately, mostly due to the fact that I make sure to work hard enough during the day that when my bedtime rolls around, I am too exhausted to be bothered to entertain him.

So he just sort of sits at the edge of my bed, tapping his fingers, waiting for the opportunity to bug me.

Quite a change from a year ago, when the only serious relationship I had at the time was with him.

Stress-induced insomnia is a state of consciousness not many are subjected to. Consider yourself very lucky if you have not been.

As you can probably tell if you watch The Machinist.

For two months last summer, I think I was The Machinist.

This movie is the tale of a man who has not slept in a year. The script itself is heavily influenced by the works of Dostoevsky (The Idiot, Crime and Punishment). The main character’s name, Trent Reznik, is an homage to Trent Reznor, the founder of the band Nine Inch Nails. The original script of the movie actually opened with lyrics from Reznor’s album, The Downward Spiral. It fits very well as you watch the movie: I had always wondered myself what the music from that particular album would look like. I remember lying in bed in high school listening to The Downward Spiral in the dark, and the images that would pop up, the story I imagined for the characters in the songs where actually very similar to the main character in The Machinist. Johnny Cash did a cover of a song from this album, “Hurt”. After he died, his song “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” was released, with these opening bars: “You can run on for a long time, sooner or later God’ll cut you down”. Prolific final words from The Man in Black, if I do say so myself.

Watching this movie is hard for me, I must admit. It brings back flashes of a time when my mind was completely disconnected from my body.

When you watch The Machinist, you watch how I saw two months of my daughter’s life. Two months of my life. Two months of my father’s life.

Two more months of my father’s life that might not have even existed if things had not worked out for the better.

The suffocating paranoia, the escalating fear, it is all there in that movie, written all over Christian Bale’s ghostly face.

The question posed during the trailer of this movie is the same question every insomniac asks themselves after they watch yet another night not sleeping pass them by:

“How do you wake up from a nightmare when you’re not asleep?”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Joys of Writing

Hi everyone, this week I'm going to be discussing my writing and how it's going. I have had quite a few joys recently. It's very special when you really feel connected to your manuscript's plot and characters. Recently I've had cases when I would work on a manuscript that I've been trying to finish, that has actually had some editor feedback, but as much as I try, I just hit a wall when I try to work on it. I even tried working on another novel that I had started just a couple of thousand words on, but it as well was like hitting a wall. I just couldn't break through and work on it.

Then, I started working on a novel that's been very special to me, but that had kind of blocked a couple of years ago. With that novel, it's flowing like melted butter. The characters are strong in my head and I can really empathize with them. I was working on a scene a few days ago that was pretty serious and heartbreaking for the heroine, and I started crying because she was going through a really hard time.

Really, those are the moments when I know I'm on track. I really like the other novels as well, but this one is taking precedent in my mind right now. It has kind of pushed itself out there so I would work on it rather than the other two. How about you? Have you had any times when you just feel the pulled to a novel that's really grappling for your attention?

Let me know! I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday's Contest Winner

Congratulations to our winner from Saturday's contest...the winner of Elizabeth Black's e-book, Summer Heat: Steaming Stories For A Hot Summer Afternoon.

The winner is...LINDSEYE!!

Congratulations, Lindseye! We hope you enjoy your free e-book from Elizabeth Black. To receive your prize, please email us at with your mailing address. Thanks for participating in our blog and congratulations again! Don't forget to check back each Saturday for a new contest!

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one (1) week from today's drawing. No exceptions are made.


The Deadly Vixens

New Winner of Terry Spear's e-book

We did not receive a response from our winner on Terry Spear's e-book. So, I am announcing a NEW winner. So, congratulations to our new winner of Terry Spear's e-book.

The winner is...MARGARET TANNER!!

Congratulations, Margaret! We hope you enjoy your free e-book from Terry Spear. To receive your prize, please email us at with your e-mail address.

Thanks for participating in our blog and congratulations again! Don't forget to check back each Saturday for a new contest!

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one (1) week from today's drawing. No exceptions are made.

The Deadly Vixen

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bringing characters to life

While my computer is out of commission, I've been working on writing exercises to improve my craft. Since all my works in process are on the computer, I'm not able to work on them, so I decided it was a good time to work on other things.

I've been focusing on my characterization. I've really been focusing on figuring out the different aspects of people's personalities. The way they dress, talk, walk, or whatever. All of that is what makes each one an individual.

It's not an easy task creating well developed characters. It's so easy to fall into stereotypes. But that is not what makes interesting characters. People want to read about characters that leap off the page. They want real lifelike people they can relate to.

I'm taking an online conference this week that I hope will help me with this and other issues that I need to work on. Unfortunately, since the computer is in the shop, I won't be able to participate fully. Hopefully, I can at least print out the important information and use it on my own time to improve my own writing.

Another thing I've done is purchased Debra Dixon's book online. I can't wait to get it in. I've heard so many good things about it. I'm waiting anxiously for it to arrive. In the meantime, I'm trying to read up as much as I can in writing articles.

What do you use to improve your writing? Or what kinds of things do you look for in a book? Share some of your thoughts with me. Do you have any good articles to recommend?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Welcome to our weekly contest on The Deadly Vixens blog! The winner will receive a book from our Thursday guest blogger, Elizabeth Black!

The winner will receive Summer Heat: Steaming Stories For A Hot Summer Afternoon.

To enter, tell me what your favorite part of Halloween is. Is it the ghost stories, trick or treating, costumes, horror movies on television, decorations, hayrides, carving pumpkins, or something else. Just something--anything--that makes Halloween special for you. For me, I it's the family time I spend with my boys either deciding on a costume, picking out the perfect pumpkin, then carving it and walking the streets trick or treating.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 14, 2008. Be sure to check back and see if you have won. If your name is drawn as the winner, you will need to e-mail us at with your e-mail addres to claim your prize.

*WARNING* Some books may contain explicit material and are for persons 18 years of age or older. If you are not at least 18, please do not enter the contest, as we have no way of knowing your actual age. By entering this contest, you are accepting these terms and are stating that you are at least 18 years of age or older. Thank you. *WARNING*

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one week of drawing. There are no exceptions.

Best of luck!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stingy Jack-o’-lanterns

Boo! *laughs* Did I scare any of you? *giggles impishly*

I love Halloween! Who is with me? *looks about trying to spy fellow compatriots*

“Trick or Treat
Smell my Feet
Give me something good to eat!”

*chuckles again* Sorry, but I can’t get through Halloween without thinking about the childish rhymes we learned as kids. The same rhymes I now hear my children say.

I love the spooky, eerie atmosphere that goes along with Halloween. It makes me feel like a giddy kid again. I love deciding on costumes with my boys. My dog even has a witch hat that she wears along with a candy corn imprinted bandana. My husband says it’s considered animal cruelty the things I make her wear. ;-) For us, Halloween is family time because we’re all involved…well, except my husband who refuses to dress up as anything other than what he is…a stick in the mud. *laughs* Sorry, couldn’t help myself. He’s really not that bad, but he’s not that into Halloween either. His holiday is Christmas. *rolls eyes* His Christmas decorations are time consuming and involves a freakin’ large amount of electricity. I should be on the Power Company’s Christmas Card list. It's ridiculous. *shakes head, muttering about my light bill*

“Trick or treat, you're so neat.
Give me something good to eat.
Nuts and candy, fruit and gum.
I'll go away if you give me some.”

I love the decorations and right now my house is decked out with witches, ghosts, spider webs, skeletons and of course, jack-o’-lanterns. For my birthday, my mother bought me three animated Halloween houses. They’re like Christmas houses, but obviously not. One is actually a cemetery, but it’s got ghosts, goblins and monsters moving about and popping up out of the ground. The other one is a house with various silhouettes in the windows depicting someone being walked to the gallows, standing on the gallows and finally ending in hanging. The third one is the Tunnel of Terror Carnival Ride. The monsters in the cars are classic movie monsters like Frankenstien and his wife, Leatherface, Count Dracula and his wife, Werewolves, Mummies and the such.

So, in the spirit of Halloween I got to thinking…what is the history of Halloween? How did it start? Has it always been associated with Satanism and evil and ghosts and goblins?

The Irish sometimes called Halloween “All Hallows” or “All Saints”, and it was a significant ceremony for the Roman Catholics where sacrifices were made to honor the dead, prayers were presented for them and oblations (defined as offerings of gifts to a deity or a Christian communion) were made to them. It was originally celebrated on the last day of the Roman year, February 21st, but was changed by Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century to May 13th. Pope Boniface introduced All Saint’s Day to replace the pagan festival of the dead, which was celebrated by the pre-Christian Celts in Ireland, Wales and Scotland, which is from where America’s version of Halloween originates, the pre-Christian Druidic fire festival called “Samhain”. Samhain celebrated the feast of the dead, which symbolized the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. The date was later changed by Gregory III to November 1st.

Halloween traditions migrated with Irish immigrants to North America in the 19th century. The holiday was embraced by other western countries in the late 20th century. In the Gaelic culture, Samhain is regarded as the "Celtic New Year". The ancient pagan tradition for the Samhain festival was to stock supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels were obviously superstitious because they believed that on October 31 the invisible boundary between the deceased and the living dissolved. That would be kind of scary if one really gave that much thought. Therefore, it was a dicey time for those living because illness or damage to the harvest could occur. Frequently, bonfires were torched during the festivals and the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown into it. In an attempt to resemble or placate evil spirits, costumes and masks was worn to the festival.

“Trick or treat, smell my feet.
I know you'll give us lots of treats.
Not to big, not to small,
Maybe the size of Montreal.”

A very prominent Halloween symbol in America is the jack-o’-lantern. First carved from a turnip or rutabaga in Europe, it was believed that the head contained the spirit and knowledge and, therefore, was the most powerful part of the body. I laughed aloud at the image of the head of a turnip or rutabaga having spirit or knowledge. It was actually scarier thinking about it coming to life and divulging its knowledge. *shudders* ;-)

The Celts believed the head of the veggie frightened off superstitions. *laughs* Another priceless belief, but it also demonstrates how superstitious they were.

The Irish legend of Stingy Jack is how the name jack-o'-lantern came about. Legend has it that Stingy Jack was an old farmer that was a hard-drinking greedy gambler. But, Stingy Jack was smart enough to trick Satan into climbing a tree and then trapping him there by carving a cross into the tree trunk. Yeah, okay, I admit I laughed when I read this legend. But, Satan had the last say (why does it seem like he always does?) and had his revenge on wily-good-ole-hard-drinking-greedy Stingy Jack, placing a curse on him and condemning him to wander the earth for eternity at night (kind of reminded me of the headless horseman story). And you guessed it, the only light Stingy Jack would have on his eternity long curse was a candle inside of a hallowed out turnip. I found this legend rather interesting.

So, jack-o’-lanterns started out as turnips and rutabagas. Who would have ever guessed? Not me, that’s for sure. Pumpkin carving is actually native to North America because pumpkins are more readily available, they’re larger and they’re easier to carve than a turnip or rutabaga.

Do you enjoy carving jack-o’-lanterns? Do you plan to carve one this year? We always do because our boys love it and I love doing it with them. I have a billion pictures with them carving the pumpkins over the years. Then we clean the seeds, cook and eat them. Yummy!

What’s your favorite part about Halloween? What are your traditions? I posted some rhymes that we used to say as children. I’m sure there are more out there, but I can’t remember them. Share with me others that you may know.
Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Please Welcome Author...Elizabeth Black!!

Sexsomnia – Having Sex While You Are Asleep
Elizabeth Black

Imagine that you are sleeping peacefully, enjoying your night of restful slumber. Then you get up at o-dark-thirty in the morning, roll over onto your spouse, and fuck the hell out of him. Afterwards, you collapse onto your side of the bed, and sleep like a baby until morning.

The problem is that you were asleep while you did this. You don't remember a thing. The only way you know is because your spouse had first told you about these episodes, but you didn't believe him. So, he videotaped you in the middle of the night while you were busy bucking away on him, although you were in slumberland the entire time and completely clueless.

My new unnamed serial for the upcoming women's erotica web site Excitica includes discussion of this phenomenon, called "sexsomnia", or "sleep sex". Sex therapist Sydney Tanaka's new client, Brooklyn Dale, has many sexual hang-ups, including sexsomnia. During their first session, Brooklyn brought along a videotape of one of her sexsomnia episodes to watch with Sydney, hoping to get some insight into why she does that. Sydney watches the video with Brooklyn, but she is disturbed to realize that she is sexually aroused watching Brooklyn ride her very pleased husband reverse cowgirl style while she is fast asleep. While the serial is much more complex than sexsomnia alone, when I first learned of it, I was so intrigued that I had to include it into the storyline for this serial.

Think sexsomnia is all phooey-hokum make-believe you'd see only on Springer? Think again!

Psychologist Michael Mangan, Ph.D. is well-known for his research on sleep disorders, in particular sexsomnia. His web site describes sexsomnia as "sexual behavior that occurs during sleep. Some people seem to enjoy it and view it with a sense of humor. However, it can be disturbing, annoying, embarrassing and is a potentially serious problem for some couples and individuals." Factors that affect sexsomnia include alcohol and drug abuse, stress, other emotional problems, and fatigue.

Two researchers who have studied sexsomnia include Colin M. Shapiro and Christian Guilleminault. Shapiro had studied eleven people who had engaged in sexual behavior while they were asleep. Two were women. Nine were men. In his paper that detailed his findings, "Sexsomnia – A New Parasomnia", he wrote that sleep sex is another form of parasomnia. Parasomnias are "events that occur intermittently or episodically during the night. They may occur in any phase of sleep. Most parasomnias are characterized by partial arousals before, during, or after the event." Sleep sex ranges from loud moaning which disturbs other people to outright sexual assault. This disturbing behavior often accompanies abuse of alcohol and drugs, stress, and sleep deprivation.

Guilleminault conducted a similar study. His findings were published in the March/April issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Like the Shapiro study, the patients symptoms ranged from loud moaning to outright sexual assault. According to an article about the study published at the Talk About Sleep web site, "patients, like the Shapiro patients, had no recollection of their activities, since they were asleep. Guilleminault divided his patients into three categories – annoying, behaviors that placed the patient at physical risk, and those patients who made unwanted and sometimes violent sexual advances on their bed partners while asleep."

Think this is impossible? It might not be. It was initially thought of as rare, but researchers studying the phenomenon believe now that it may be more common than initially thought. It also made for a great plot device for my serial for Excitica. Look for the serial to come out in 2009.


Disclaimer: The views expressed by the guest blogger do not necessarily reflect those of The Deadly Vixens.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another Poetic Offering

Hi everyone, today I'm posting a poem that I wrote a while back. I figured that I would share since it's paranormal related and Halloween is coming soon! Here it is!

Angel Face

My heart starts beating, and
I hear the world outside.
Something shakes my coffin.
Someone's smooth hands run over the wood.
Then more shaking occurs,
And I wonder who this could be.
Should I fear?
Have I been found?
The lid lifts off the coffin,
And what do I see,
But an angel's face come into view
Fear this beauty?
Underneath my flesh
Something shivers inside me.
Now I will taste
Of this sweet girl
Who awoke me.

I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday's Contest Winner

Congratulations to our winner from Saturday's contest...the winner of Terry's Spear's e-book.

The winner is...KAREN!!

Congratulations, Karen! We hope you enjoy your free e-book from Terry Spear.

To receive your prize, please email us at with your mailing address. Thanks for participating in our blog and congratulations again! Don't forget to check back each Saturday for a new contest!

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one (1) week from today's drawing. No exceptions are made.

The Deadly Vixens

Monday, October 6, 2008

Halloween is coming!

Ahhhh. October. Don't you just love this time of year? Fall is setting in and the cool air is blowing. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. But, that is not the only thing I love about October. Nope, I know that Halloween is just around the corner and I start to get excited. What a great holiday. It's so much fun. Everyone gets to dress up as ghosts or witches or vampires. You can be anything you want to be. How often do you get to do that? Not very, at least in my life. That's one reason I love reading so much. It takes me out of this world and puts me in another one. It's an escape from reality. Well, guess what? So is Halloween. It's a night when anything can happen. When thoughts about the supernatural become foremost in everyone's minds. It's the one day a year when it's cool to be different.

Not that I'd want everyday to be Halloween. If that was the case, I'm sure I wouldn't love it so much. It would be normal and boring, no longer special. Teens would try to rebel by being good. Could you even imagine that? Of course, that would be a unique story idea, wouldn't it? Hmmm. Anyway. I'm sitting in the computer room at my apartment complex in the middle of the night and looking out the giant window at the dark, wet streets and getting excited for what is to come in just a few short weeks. No one ever said I was normal. LOL.

One of my favorite things about the costumes, is when people take the initiative to make their own. I love to see a costume that hasn't been bought at some shop where every tenth person has bought the same thing. I hate watching the night pass and knowing I've seen at least fifty kids in the same getup. It probably stems from my own childhood. I never had a store bought costume. I can remember my mom trying to figure out what to put together to make me a costume for the night. It was really a lot of fun going through the stages of costume building. If we put this shirt with that skirt, we could get a cowgirl. Or, if we put these two together, you could be a princess. I'll never forget my favorite costume ever. My mom tied strips of cloth in my hair and I looked like that woman from HeeHaw. It was a lot of fun. And I have to say, I was the only one dressed like that. Of course, I understand that scary is the way to go, but sometimes, I like the unique just as much.

So, tell me about your favorite holiday traditions or your favorite costume. I'd love to hear about them. I'm getting excited now. Hmmm. What could I be this year?

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Welcome to our weekly contest on The Deadly Vixens blog! The winner will receive a book from our Thursday guest blogger, Terry Spear!

The winner will receive one of the following books (winner's choice):

Heart of the Wolf
The Vampire...In My Dreams
Winning the Highlander's Heart

To enter, read Terry Spear's Thursday blog and share your thoughts on conflict either in the Weekly Contest comment section or in the comment section of Terry's blog and you’ll be entered in the giveaway for one of the above books. The winner chooses the book.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 7, 2008. Be sure to check back and see if you have won.

If your name is drawn as the winner, you will need to e-mail us at with your e-mail addres to claim your prize.

*WARNING* Some books may contain explicit material and are for persons 18 years of age or older. If you are not at least 18, please do not enter the contest, as we have no way of knowing your actual age. By entering this contest, you are accepting these terms and are stating that you are at least 18 years of age or older. Thank you. *WARNING*

Please note: New winners will be chosen from the remaining entries if prizes are not claimed within one week of drawing. There are no exceptions.

Best of luck!

Friday, October 3, 2008

To Sell One's Soul....

I am sorry if this makes little to no sense. I was trying to write it late at night, so I hope it reads okay because little is making sense to me at the moment.

To sell one’s soul….

I pose this question to you…can one sell their soul to the devil? Legend has it that famous blues singer, Robert Johnson did. His lyrics are certainly suggestive of it.

Cross Road Blues

I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above "Have mercy, now save poor Bob, if you please"

However, we all know how much attention inflammatory lyrics can generate a musician. We live in a pop-culture where we have songs on the radio about girls kissing girls and liking it. It’s all about shock value and grabbing the audience’s attention. Robert Johnson sure created hype with his lyrics and mysterious ways. Just like the tabloids today, rumors held sway during the 1930s. And the rumors about Robert Johnson were that he’d sold his soul to the devil to play the way he did.

Hell-Hound on My Trail

Blues fallin down like hail
And the days keeps on worryin me
theres a hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail

I certainly do not want a hellhound on my trail. I can't think of anything more frightening.

It is now speculated that Robert Johnson’s actions were not as peculiar as his fans might have thought they were. He would leave immediately after playing, but that is characteristic of a celebrity not wanting to run into fans. He would turn his back while playing, now thought so no one would realize how he created the notes.

Me and the Devil Blues

Early this mornin' when you knocked upon my door
And I said, "Hello, Satan, I believe it's time to go."
Me and the Devil was walkin' side by side

I have no desire to walk side-by-side with the devil either. Neither do I want to recognize him when he knocks on my door. No, thank you.

We will never know if Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. It makes for interesting discussions, but it leaves me a little sad too because if he did sell his soul to the devil, then his success was so short lived, he didn’t get to enjoy his fame. He was born in 1911, and died at the age of 27 in 1938. His landmark songs were recorded from 1936-1937. If he sold his soul, what a very shallow victory in my opinion because Satan surely come out of that crossroads deal smelling like a rose.

I grew up with stories of finding a crossroad and selling one’s soul to the devil for greatness. But is it even possible? I certainly do not have the answer to that question. But I can tell you, I don’t want to take the chance and find out. Mysterious ways are afoot in our world, so I think anything is possible. If the stories of Satan are true, then I think he would wander about in this world obtaining souls any way he could get them and he would use any nefarious scheme he could to capture our soul.

Charlie Daniels – The Devil Went Down to Georgia

The devil went down to Georgia
He was lookin' for a soul to steal
He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind
and he was willin' to make a deal

Just the thought that the devil's has a quote of souls to steal terrifies me. What about you? It makes it all the worse to think he'd be "willin' to make a deal". Yikes! I wonder what lengths and how low he would go to "make a deal". Call me Mrs. Scaredy because I don't want to find out. *looks about nervously*

Would you sell your soul for greatness? No? Yes? To me, selling one’s soul sounds desperate and needy. But, let’s face it, we all have different needs, desires and wants. All of us define importance to things differently. I can say, for me and my soul, I cannot think of anything I want bad enough to sell my soul for.

However, what if a beloved family member were terminally ill—a son, a daughter, a spouse—would you reconsider then? Again, my first thought is absolutely not! But, who knows what we would do when faced with such dire circumstances. Then again, I cannot imagine I would ever be in the mood to burn in hell for eternity…if one believes in that hell anyway.

I like to think if I ever met Satan, then I’d be able to outsmart him. Realistically, I’d probably be puppy chow for his demonic hellhounds. *shudders* Not a pretty thought or sight.

And with that, I wish you all a very happy and safe weekend! *waves*

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Please Welcome Author...Terry Spear!!

First off, let me apologize for getting this up so late today. I had planned to get it posted and scheduled for first thing this morning, but between one confusion, the next one and then running off to dentist appointments at 7:30 this morning...well, you get the picture. So, sorry to Terry for the delay and sorry to you all as well. Hope you enjoy!

Now, please welcome author, Terry Spear!


I’m teaching this month about conflict in writing. Whereas in our real lives we don’t want a lot of conflict, in fiction, the more the better! :-)

There’s nothing worse than reading about characters who have no troubles, that everything is perfectly hunky-dory. Nope, got to have conflict. On every page.

My latest release is The Vampire…In My Dreams and here is the blurb that shows some of the conflict they’re in for.

The Witch –

Plain and average Marissa Lakeland doesn’t believe in fate—or vampires. When she and her girlfriend chase after a gorgeous hunk of a guy one dark, misty night to prove he’s truly a vampire, she’s forced to face her worst nightmares—in the flesh. Rather, in the not-quite mortal flesh. So why does the thought of tall, dark, and vampiric appeal to her, when there’s no way a vampire can compel a witch to do his bidding? At least that’s what she’s read in vampiric lore. But lore can be mistaken. Utterly mistaken.

The Prince of Darkness –

As soon as he sees Marissa, fledgling vampire, Dominic Vorchowski, knows that she’s the only one who can save him. Only why does she have to be a witch? Humans are easy to compel, but a witch? Fate has thrown him together with the clever, bewitching teen and if he can gain her trust, he’ll have his life back again. Except for that whole eternal thirst for blood thing. And the fangs. Not to mention the aversion to intense sunlight. In any event, he’ll have his life back as normal as it can be. This time, he’ll not mess with girls he knows nothing about. Especially when he’s set his sights on one tantalizing teen witch, who’s totally off the menu.

The Threat –

Lynetta wants Dominic to replace the lover she lost three hundred years ago, and no witch is going to take her guy away from her. Ancient vampires tend to get really cranky when they don’t get their way. Really cranky. Like three-hundred-years-in-the-making cranking. She’s not just after Dominic’s blood, she wants every bit of the hunk. Time is running out while Dominic and Marissa try to find a way to thwart the vampiress and her blood bonds from winning the battle of the night.

And here is a blurb from Deadly Liaisons, an adult vampire romantic suspense coming November 15.

Dark huntress and rare telepath, Tezra Campbell treads a thin line between being a skilled criminal investigator for the Hunter Council and a renegade. She has an obsessive compulsion to find the vampire who murdered her parents, resulting in severe trauma to her younger sister who’d witnessed the crime a decade earlier.

Prince of the American vampire clans, Daemon, sees Tezra as a danger to herself and to his people if the serial killer vampire terminates her next. He’s also concerned his own brother might be accused of the crime, takes her into custody, and intends to find the killer himself.

Only things don't work out the way either planned, yet both aim to win the deadly game.

I have a conflictive excerpt on The Vampire…In My Dreams shown at:

But Deadly Liaisons is just in final edits, so here’s an excerpt from the opening:

Streetlamps poked scant fingers of light into the gray fog coating the warehouse district, deserted at the ungodly hour. Perfect conditions for another murder.

Unable to slow her racing heart, she feared the renegade vampire would hear the blood whooshing through her veins, begging him to take her life also.

Not far from where she stood, the dried blood of the three policemen murdered last week—their jugulars ripped out—stained the pavement. Too close for comfort. She wanted to move away from the spot, to distance herself from the recent killings, to be anywhere but here.

She peered into the murkiness, straining to see any sign of movement, listening for any human sound. Where the hell was the police officer she was to meet?

Come alone, Officer Stevens had warned. And she’d obeyed. Had to, if she was to learn the bloodsucker’s name. Yet, she couldn’t shake free of the feeling she’d been set up.

Lots of conflict. We want to show it in the beginning, and on every page either in internal or external ways through the story. We want to keep our readers entertained and riveted throughout. So the fun in writing is coming up with new obstacles to place in our characters’ paths. They definitely don’t have an easy time of it when we get hold of them. But hopefully, everything will turn out all right in the end. :-)

One of my students used a real life example in a fictionalized setting showing conflict—fire in the kitchen, 9-1-1 operator with a nonchalant attitude. And that’s a marvelous way to dream up new stories, use real-life conflictive situations you’ve been in and turn it into fiction. Have you had some crisis that could be made into a story? And wouldn’t some say, “Oh, no, that’s just too unreal.”

Thanks to Deadly Vixens for having me. Take a look at my movie video trailers here to see how even in a trailer, conflict is important:
Share with me your thoughts on conflict and you’ll be entered in my giveaway for either Heart of the Wolf, The Vampire…In My Dreams, or Winning the Highlander’s Heart. Your choice. The sequel for Heart of the Wolf, Don’t Cry Wolf, is coming Mar 1st. And I’ve sold the sequel to Winning the Highlander’s Heart, The Accidental Highland Hero. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my posting! :-) Terry Spear,